Peter Anthony Telfer died October 15, 2021, at the age of 63. His sister Mercedes Telfer-Baptiste and other members of the Mawasi Experience pay tribute on the anniversary of his death.
“Death is not extinguishing the light; it’s only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.” – Rabindranath Tagore
For over 40 years, Peter blew his conch shell and proclaimed loudly, “A Call to Praise! – O Creator” and the people responded with “O Creator, Loving and tender; praise Him, love Him, thank Him, forever….and ever.”
Peter’s lamp went out because his day had dawned. That same week the Mawasi Experience (MXP), ‘with Rhythms of Message and Praise’ would have celebrated 41 years (October 12, 1980) of service to God, others, and country.
Archbishop Jason Gordon shared the following on Peter’s passing: “I remember the first time I heard O Creator, Peter Telfer and the MXP in a Liturgy; it woke me up…. because here you have this rhythm… this chant…this music that was so different from others that we’ve had and experimented with in the Church. And it was us. It was our rhythm…. our chant. It resonated with us, a Caribbean people. That’s Peter’s gift to us as Church. He brought music that was ours.
He was a true son of the soil. He was creative and he always in his Red, White, and Black, and his identity with Trinidad and Tobago.
Deeply Catholic…. and constantly holding the Trinidad and Tobago experience with the experience of his Catholicism and fusing both…. into music and….Art. A Cultural icon for us in the Catholic Church, and a true son of the nation.
I mourn…. I thank God for him and his life…. We’ve lost a wonderful man and a great Catholic, and a true patriot of Trinidad and Tobago….”
Peter treasured and valued people. He experienced the love of God and wanted others to also experience being in the hands of God. With his greetings of “Peace and Blessings” he was always ready and willing to help, work with, support, encourage, share, challenge, and to pray for others.
He reached out with words, music and actions that flowed from what filled his heart to everyone and anyone, anywhere and everywhere, inside, and outside of church.
Peter journeyed with eyes of faith steadfastly fixed on God, aware of his sinfulness and his need for God. He also experienced the pains and sufferings of earthly life, and became emotional, cried, felt broken, wounded, crushed, and humbled. He prayed, played, praised, clung to, and loved God and people as he went through it.
The celebration of Holy Mass, the source and summit of his (our) Faith, was the centre and wellspring of his life. Daily, he ate and drank of God’s Word, and of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, for sustenance, light and comfort.
His last days seemed as though he was suffering on his cross. But then it felt as if God was further purifying and cleansing him, preparing him for Heaven.
So dear brother and friend, we remember, celebrate, appreciate you. We’re sorry, please forgive us, we forgive you. We affirm, thank, and love you.
We are encouraged by your life as we continue our journey and look forward to being reunited forever in eternity where we all as one will proclaim, “Jesus Christ is Lord to the Glory of God the Father.”
MXP: Remembering the Past, and living the legacy left by Peter Telfer
Tiny Can do Plenty a composition by Peter Telfer, of Mawasi Experience (MXP), has become the mantra of the group, encouraging them to continue the journey after losing their founder and friend in October 2021.
The group members: Rian Marie Extavour, Neon Niles, David Charles, and Arnold Morales have continued to lead the music ministry during the 5th Sunday Mass at Sacred Heart RC Church, Richmond Street, Port of Spain with support from Timitra Williams, Nicole Boodhan-Thomas, and Mercedes Telfer-Baptiste and family.
At the most recent celebration on July 31, they were joined by Telfer-Baptiste, Anthony Mitchell, and Denzil Alexander, raising their instruments and voices in praise with popular pieces, like O Creator: A Call to Praise! from the Alimayu (Drum Mass) album.
This month, the group will mark its 42nd anniversary, and continue the tradition of music ministry leadership on Sunday, October 30 from 11 a.m. at Sacred Heart RC Church.
They will continue to expand their network of drummers and musicians through rehearsals and workshops. Persons with an interest in learning to play the music of MXP, or in purchasing one of their music albums are encouraged to reach out to the group via email at email@example.com or via Facebook, and follow the Facebook page for notices and updates.
Thanks, and God Bless!